Piedrasassi Rim Rock Vineyard Syrah 2016

  • D95
  • V94
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Rim Rock Vineyard is 7 miles from the ocean, with 35 year old own-rooted vitis vinifera. The Chamise soils there are the exact opposite of limestone: very acidic.

Critical Acclaim

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D 95
Decanter
100% whole bunch. Stemmy herbal notes to the fruit alongside peppercorns and sage. Fresh and direct with well-integrated acidity and a lovely peppery vein running through it into the length. Chiselled tannic skeleton propping up the raspberry and just-ripe blackberry fruits. Overtly stemmy, but what a delicious, complex wine. Cote-Rotie lovers take note.
V 94
Vinous
Piedrasassi's 2016 Syrah Rim Rock Vineyard is deep, savory and super-expressive. Black pepper, juniper berry, lavender and inky dark fruit all flesh out. As it often is, the Rim Rock is incredibly distinctive and persistent, with a bit of youthful austerity that will recede with time in bottle.
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Piedrasassi

Piedrasassi

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Piedrasassi, California
Piedrasassi Winery Image
“The common thread among all the wines we love and admire is that there are both a mind and a place behind them. Wine, just like food, or music, or art, should have a certain kind of authenticity–it should come from someone and somewhere. This idea is what informs the work that we do. We try to make honest wines that we believe in. We hope you like them.” –Sashi Moorman, Piedrasassi Sashi and his wife, Melissa, have been making great, restrained, Northern Rhone-style Syrah for a decade, until now selling it only in California, and we are thrilled to bring their wines, in their very distinctive squat bottle, to the Tri-State area. The husband and wife team began making a small amount of wine in Lompoc, CA in 2003 under the Piedrasassi label. The focus of Piedrasassi’s wine program is cool climate Syrah. Sashi & Melissa believe that good Syrah can be made at many sites in Santa Barbara County, but it is at the cool climate sites that Syrah is at its most compelling; producing the most complex aromas and the most savory textures. The vineyard sites for Piedrasassi range from Ballard Canyon in the east to the Santa Rita Hills and Arroyo Grande in the west. In the vineyard, the team at Piedrasassi picks a bit earlier than their colleagues to keep the alcohol levels in balance with flavor and to preserve the natural acidity of the fruit. In the winery, Moorman employs some whole cluster inclusion, indigenous yeast fermentation, and no sulfur added at fermentation, remaining as natural as possible without compromising the integrity of the wine. Elevage is in 500L barrels to limit the wine’s exposure to oxygen and to minimize the influence of oak. They add the smallest amount of sulfur to the wine at bottling; allowing the aromatics to stay expressive while still protecting the wine during cellaring. The result, in all of these bottlings, is Syrah that shows off the different sites through aromas that bloom and evolve in the glass and tannins that grip and engage the palate. The tasting room also has a bakery connected, which Melissa runs. They make fresh loaves of bread Wednesday through Sunday, just highlighting how truly they are tied to the Earth and their sense of place.
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One of the coolest growing areas in California, the Arroyo Grande Valley runs from the southwest to the northeast, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and is part of the Central Coast AVA. Situated so that cold Pacific Ocean air and fog is allowed to filter into the valley, Arroyo Grande also has an incredibly long growing season. Bud break occurs in February in most years with flowering in May and harvest in late September; the area is classified as cool Mediterranean.

These weather factors combined with the soil types—continental and marine rocks, greywacke, limestone, shale and volcanic—create wines with great concentration and fresh acidity. The cooler end of the valley is perfect for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and is a good producer of sparkling wines. The warmer, more inland part of the valley is home to some of California’s oldest Zinfandel vines.

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”

SKRUSPSS4116_2016 Item# 516451

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